Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A nice golden baked vanilla sponge cake
A Fresh Fruits Birthday Cake for Mum
Recipe for Traditional Sponge Cake
For 1 9-inch round mould
( I used a 81/2" springform cake pan)
150g caster sugar
(*Optional 1 tsp vanilla essense or other flavoured paste as desired)
120g flour (I used Top flour)
80g Melted butter
1) Whip (A) till light & fluffy.
2) Fold in flour till wel mixed.
3) Stir in melted butter untilwell incorporated.
4) Grease cake mould & pour batter into the cake mould.
5) Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 30-45 minutes.
3) The sugar & eggs should be whipped till light & fluffy. Notice that colour has turned to pale ivory.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Fresh Fruit Cake with jelly topping for Mum's Birthday
Was worried about many things that could have gone wrong...
- What if the cake is underbaked ? Burnt?
- What if it falls apart when I remove it from the cake pan?
- What if it sinks after cooling?
- What if it's tough like a cookie?
- What if I can't get a nice fuit arrangement?
- What if the jelly topping wouldn't set?
- What if everything get stuck to the cake ring?
- What if the cake dries up and hardens after putting it in the fridge?
Was really keeping my fingers crossed every step of the way & was prepared to buy a cake from the bakery if the cake didn't turn up well...
Fortunately, all these didn't happen and everything turned up quite well, except for the fact that I wasted a batch of sliced almonds when I over-toasted them.
A flea's eye-view of the cake...
10 Steps to Fruit Cake?
(Should have taken a picture every step of the way, my sis couldn't believe that I can make something like this...)
1) Sat morning: Bake a vanilla sponge cake & remove from the cake tin.
Actually thought they look good enough to be eaten already :)
No cracks, even when I removed it from the springform cake pan.
I greased the pan before pouring in the cake batter & didn't line the tin with greaseproof paper.
2) Cool the cake till room temperature, then put in the fridge.
I was afraid that the cake will dry up in the fridge, so I put the entire cake in a big "Lock&Lock" airtight container, using the cover of the container as a base for the cake.
Putting the cake into the fridge will reduce crumbs when cutting up the cake to sandwich the filling in-between.
3) Sunday Morning: Prepare fresh whipped. Whipped topping cream till stiff.
Divide into 2 portions. 1/3 for the filling to sandwich the cake. 2/3 to cover the cake.
For the filling to sandwich the cake. Chopped up some fresh fruits (kiwi, strawberry & canned peach) & mix well.
4) Cut the cake in half horizontally. I got myself a Wilton's Cake Leveler to help me get a straight cut.
5) Spread the fresh cream with fruit mix on the cake & sandwich the other half of the cake on top.
6) Spread the rest of the fresh cream to cover the cake. It doesn't matter if u can't get the cream smooth as they'll get covered up eventually by fruits on top or almond slices by the side.
7) Arrange fruits on the cake as desired. I actually tried arranging the fruits on a separate plate until I'm happy with the layout. Then I transferred the fruits to be placed on the cake.
8) Place adjustable cake ring around the cake & slowly pour instant jelly mixture over the fruits.
(Jelly Topping: Boil 200ml of water with 50g of sugar. Add 10g of instant jelly power. Stir well till you get a clear solution. Let the jelly mixture cool a little first before gently pouring over the fresh fruits using a spoon.)
Cover up & put cake into fridge for jelly topping to set.
9) 2 hours later, jelly topping has set. Remove cake from cake ring...
Fortunately, whipped cream around the cake has also set, so I didn't get a messy cake ring with cream all over... The side of the cake looked pretty smooth :)
10) Finally, cover the sides of the cake with toasted almond slices.
Tata.... A beautiful fruit cake for my mama...
Half the battle won... Now waiting for the taste test...
After the dinner feast, birthday song, birthday wishes, cutting the cake & finally the taste test...
Yummy... Cake was still soft & spongy, even when it was placed in the fridge for about 2 days. Not too sweet. The filling of fresh cream with fresh fruits was yummy! Just the right amount, not too thick, like a lot of cakes from the bakery. (Sometimes, there's more cream than cake. I usually scrape away the cream & just eat the cake.) Fresh fruits & jelly topping... Hmm... Everything's just right....
Perfect! I may be baised cause of all the effort I've put in :)
But from all the praises & the clean plates, it must be good!
Now, my sis, SQ, has requested for an ice-cream cake next week for her birthday...
The question is how to make sure the cake doesn't melt during our 30 mins journey?
Well, I can definitely make an ice-cream cake.... Love the challenge :)
But I just wonder if my sis will be happy with her cake that melts....
I used Phoon Huat's Snowskin Premix. Just need to add shortening, water & flavours. Lotus paste is also ready-made from Phoon Huat. Maybe next year, if time permits, will try making everything from scratch :)
A colourful box of mini snowskin white-lotus paste mooncakes
Pandan, Yam, Lychee, Peach
Orange, mango, Coffee, Strawberry
Still using the traditional wooden mould...
Making quite a din knocking the mooncakes out of the mould :P
Freshly Baked Mooncakes Fresh from the oven...
Friday, September 25, 2009
Roll dough as flat as possible & cut into desired shapes :)
A plate of cut dough to be cooked... Of course, there's more...
A hot bowl of Ban Mian/Mi Hoon Guei
Recipe for Mi Hoon Guei/ Ban Mian
Ingredients for Flour 'noodles':
150g all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1. Pour flour into a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour & pour in the beaten egg. Mix well with hands.
3. Add a little water at a time and mix well until a dough is formed. If it's too sticky, u need to add more flour. If it's too dry, add more water.
4. Let rest for at least 15 mins in the fridge.
5. You can either pull the dough into small flat pieces & cook directly or roll it out and cut into desired shapes.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Recipe for Stir Fry Chicken with Cashew Nuts
250g chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 + 1 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
2 glaric cloves, chopped
1 carrot, cut into slices
100g snow peas
100g roasted cashew nuts
1) Marinade chicken for at least 30 mins.
2) Heat oil & cook chicken. Remove & set aside.
3) Heat oil. Saute onion & garlic till fragrant. Add vegetables & fry briefly.
4) Add chicken. Add water. Cook until suace thickens.
5) Add cashew nuts & serve hot.
Beancurd Skin with Gingko Nuts Tong Sui
Recipe for Beancurd Skin with Gingko Nuts Tong Sui
1 packet/100g of beancurd skin (especially for dessert)
1/2 cup white pearl barley
1 packet of gingko nuts (bought a packet from NTUC, 80g without shells & skin)
(*halved, remove core & blanch in hot water)
1 egg, beaten
rock sugar/ sugar
2 litres of water
a stalk of pandan leaves, tied in a bundle
1) Wash barley & put in pot with water. Bring to boil, lower heat & slightly open the pot cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
2) Add prepared gingko nuts.
3) Break beancurd skin in package into smaller pieces. Soak for 5 mins or till soft. Drain water & add the beancurd skin to the pot.
4) Add pandan leaves. Simmer for 20-30 mins.
5) Add beaten egg slowly into the pot, stirring the soup at the same time.
6) Add sugar to taste.
7) Serve hot or cold.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tonkatsu (Breaded Pork Chop) with Japanese Curry Bento
Recipe for Breaded Pork Chop
2 pieces of pork chop
marinade in: soyasauce & pepper
1/2 cup all purpose-flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of bread crumbs
oil for deep frying
1) Marinade pork for at least 30 mins.
2) Coat pork in flour, then in egg & finally in bread crumbs.
3) Heat oil in wok & deep fry pork till a nice golden brown.
4) Dish up and remove excess oil on kitchen paper.
5) Cut & serve hot.
Japanese Curry Cubes
Japanese Curry Sauce Mix
1 Japanese Curry Sauce Cube
250ml of water
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 potatoe, peeled & cut into small cubes
* You can add almost anything u like: meat, vegetables.
(I added hotdogs as I had some leftovers from breakfast.)
1) Heat up 1 tbsp oil in saucepan. Saute onion till fragrant.
2) Add water, then potatoes. Boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 mins.
3) Add other ingredients as desired.
4) Add curry cube. Stir occasionally and mix well till gravy becomes thick.
5) Serve hot.
Monday, September 21, 2009
2 chicken thighs (best if boneless but with skin)
Friday, September 18, 2009
Just have to marinate the chicken (with soya sauce & pepper) before hand for that extra flavour. It's really super easy. Follow instructions on the box. Just add water, potatoes & chicken. And in less than 30 mins, you'll get a delicious pot of chicken curry :)
A bowl of fragrant chicken curry, great with rice, bread, fried bee hoon, roti prata etc...
It looks spicy, but it's actually not. There's an extra packet of chilli powder to spice up the curry if you like. I'll usually prepare the curry for dinner & serve with rice. I'll keep the remaining curry in the refrigerator, heat it up in the morning & serve it with bread. My husband just love to dip soft white bread into the curry and eat it. Me too! :)
Almond Breaded Chicken
Recipe for Almond Breaded Chicken
2 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
oil for deep frying
1) Slice each chicken breast into halves so that it cooks easier. Sprinkle salt over the chicken.
2) Coat chicken breast with flour, then egg and finally the mixture of breadcrumbs & almond slices.
3) Deep fry the chicken till a nice golden brown.
4) Dish up & remove excess oil on kitchen paper.
5) Cut & serve immediately.
( You may want to keep the chicken hot & crispy in the oven by turning on the low heat)
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
Bring gravy to a full boil stirring constantly. You can either pour it over the chicken or serve it in another bowl as a dipping sauce.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Butter Cookies In a Bottle
Borrowed " Betty Crocker Baking for Today" from the NLB 2 weeks back & found this "Classic Painbrush Cookies" recipe. With a note that says "...powdered sugar, giving the cookie a light, airy texture & yummy butter cookie flavour.", how could I resist trying out this recipe?
I did some adjustments to the recipe & the dough was not firm enough to be rolled out for me to use my cookie cutters. So I quickly change plans & took out my cookie press. I've bought it quite some time back & now finally got a chance to play with it :) The original recipe states that baking time is 7-8mins but I had to extend it, think my oven is 'cool'.
Taste wise, my hubby whose not much of a cookie eater, gobbled up 6 pieces at one go after I almost have to beg him to try the 1st piece. He only managed to mumble "Mmm... Nice..." So I guess, this recipe works.
Baked Butter Cookies (using cookie press)
Anyway, this is the adapted recipe that worked for me.
Adapted Recipe to Butter Cookie
(makes about 80 cookies)
225 g butter, softened
100g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
320g top flour/all-purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1) Cream (A) till creamy & colour lightens.
2) Add in (B) & cream well.
3) Fold in (C), half at a time.
4) Cover the dough & place in the refrigerator for 2-3hrs.
5) Use cookie press & press out cookies on greased baking sheet. Leave space for expansion.
Alternatively, you can roll the dough into small balls and flatten them down using a fork.
5) Bake in preheat oven @180 degrees for 15 minutes or till the cookies have turned slightly brown.
6) Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a while before cooling them on a cooling rack.
7) Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container to keep the cookies crispy.
Still looking for a butter cookie recipe so that I can play with my cookie cutters :)
Stained Glass Butter Cookies
Trying to mix 2 colours together...
Taste wise, the cookie is kind of hard. With a hard candy centre, it's quite an interesting combination. I ended up eating the cookie first, then sucking on the sweet later. Can't say I really love it, afarid that too much candy will give me a rotten tooth :P
My sis SQ said that she couldn't stop munching & almost finished the entire bottle of cookies on her own. But she requested maybe put jam or chocolate at the centre the next time. We'll see..
The dough or rather the batter was so soft! I used a piping bag and a flower tube to pipe out shapes for the cookies. After baking, it spreads out quite a bit & the cookies became quite thin & flat. I left them to cool a while on the baking tray before removing them. I was really careful after reading all the reviews that the cookies break really easily. They're right. They were really crumbling all over. Taste wise, they're really rich & buttery. The proportion of butter used in the ingredients is so high.
Anyway, after painstakingly arranging them nicely & carefully in a glass bottle so that I can pass the cookies to my mum, I placed the bottle into a paper bag. Guess what happened then? The paper bag gave way & the glass bottle of fragile cookies dropped onto the floor! Fortunately, the glass bottle didn't break, but the cookies did!
So guess I need to look for another recipe...
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Shortbread before baking
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Fried Hor Fan with Gravy
(acknowledgement: photo taken by hubby. He always say that he's the better photographer...)
Just prepared this for lunch :) An easy 1-dish meal to prepare at home.
Recipe for Fried Hor Fan with Gravy
1 packet of fat hor fan ($1)
dark soya sauce
(B) For Gravy
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500ml of water
6 fresh prawns
2 pieces of fish cakes, sliced
(Other ingredients u may want to add: sliced chicken/pork meat, fresh squid, crab stick,etc)
some green leafy vegetables (eg. cai xin)
1 egg, beaten
Seasoning: oystersauce, soy sauce, chicken stock grandules, sesame oil
corn starch water for thickening (cornfour mix with water)
1) Heat up wok. Fry the hor fan. Add dark soya sauce & sesame oil.
Mix well. Dish up & set aside.
(There's no need to add extra oil as there's oil on the hor fan already.)
2) Heat up 1 tbsp oil in the wok. Fry the chopped garlic till fragrant. Add water & put to boil. Add prawns, then vegetables & fishcake & cook. Add in beaten egg. Add seasoning to individual preference. Add corn starch water to thicken the gravy. Pour the hot gravy over the fried hor fan. Serve immediately. Serve with preserved green chilli.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Cheesecake with Disgestive Biscuits & Oreo Cookies Base
1) Cream cheese till creamy. Add egg yolk one at a time. Cream well before adding the next yolk. Then slowly stir in the milk. Cream well.